Charles Manson Follower, Leslie Van Houten, Takes a Significant Step Towards Release

by Lucas Garcia
Leslie Van Houten parole

On Friday, California’s governor made the announcement that he wouldn’t impede Leslie Van Houten’s parole by appealing to the state Supreme Court. Van Houten, a follower of the notorious cult leader Charles Manson, has been serving a life sentence for 53 years due to her involvement in two prominent murders.

The governor’s office declared in a succinct statement that it’s improbable the state Supreme Court would revisit the previous court’s decision, allowing Van Houten’s release.

The statement confirmed Governor Newsom’s disappointment.

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The statement stressed, “The victims’ families continue to endure the aftershock of the Manson cult’s heinous murders, even after more than 50 years.”

Van Houten, presently in her 70s, has been incarcerated for her participation in the 1969 murders of Leno LaBianca, an LA grocer, and his wife, Rosemary. She assisted Manson and his other followers in the crime.

Once the parole board completes the review of her record and paperwork, Van Houten is expected to be released from the California Institution for Women in Corona within approximately two weeks, informed her lawyer, Nancy Tetreault.

Despite five parole recommendations since 2016, both Newsom and former Governor Jerry Brown rejected each proposal.

Nonetheless, a state appeals court in May ruled in favor of Van Houten’s release, citing her remarkable rehabilitative efforts, remorse, realistic parole plans, consistent support from family and friends, and commendable behavior in prison.

Her attorney shared Van Houten’s relief and gratitude, stating that she’s “overjoyed and overwhelmed.”

“She is truly appreciative of people acknowledging her transformation from the person she was at the time of the murders,” she added.

Post-release, Van Houten will reside in a halfway house for about a year, acquainting herself with everyday tasks like grocery shopping and managing a debit card.

After being imprisoned for 53 years, “she will need to learn basic tasks like operating an ATM or a cell phone, let alone a computer,” added her lawyer.

In August 1969, Van Houten and other Manson followers brutally killed the LaBiancas in their own home. She admitted to restraining Rosemary LaBianca while others stabbed her, then proceeded to stab her victim more than a dozen times herself.

“We are devastated to be reminded of the absence of my father and my stepmother,” expressed Cory LaBianca, Leno LaBianca’s daughter, in a phone interview with The Big Big News on Friday.

“My offspring never had the chance to get to know them, causing a considerable void in our family,” added 75-year-old Cory La Bianca.

The LaBianca murders occurred a day after the Manson followers slayed actress Sharon Tate and four others, an incident Van Houten did not partake in.

Manson himself died in prison in 2017, from natural causes at age 83, after spending nearly 50 years in prison.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Leslie Van Houten parole

Who is Leslie Van Houten?

Leslie Van Houten is a former follower of the infamous cult leader Charles Manson. She has been serving a life sentence for over 53 years due to her involvement in the notorious 1969 murders of Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in Los Angeles.

What decision has the California governor made regarding her case?

The California governor has decided not to ask the state Supreme Court to block parole for Leslie Van Houten, thereby potentially paving the way for her release.

How many times was Leslie Van Houten recommended for parole?

Leslie Van Houten was recommended for parole five times since 2016. However, all these recommendations were rejected by Governor Newsom and former Governor Jerry Brown.

What did the state appeals court rule regarding her case?

A state appeals court ruled in May that Leslie Van Houten should be released, citing her significant rehabilitative efforts, insight, remorse, realistic parole plans, consistent support from family and friends, and commendable behavior while in prison.

What will happen to Leslie Van Houten after she is released?

After her release, Leslie Van Houten will spend about a year in a halfway house where she will learn basic life skills like how to go grocery shopping and how to use a debit card.

More about Leslie Van Houten parole

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Annie_C July 8, 2023 - 4:15 am

She’s in her 70s, the world has changed a lot since 1969. Wishing her luck to readapt in society. But yeah, crimes were terrifying, remember reading about them in papers.

TommyK July 8, 2023 - 4:44 am

newsom, makin another mistake. should’ve blocked her release. no forgiveness for such atrocities.

Lucy78 July 8, 2023 - 5:10 am

let’s hope her rehabilitative efforts are genuine! Prison should be about reform right?

Paul_1965 July 8, 2023 - 5:35 am

Victims’ families must be going thru hell again. cant imagine their pain…

SarahH. July 8, 2023 - 8:38 am

This is really tough, i mean she did a terrible thing, but then again she’s spent over 50 years in jail. Not sure how to feel.

Maggie_P July 8, 2023 - 9:54 am

this is kinda scary? I mean 53 years is a long time but those crimes were so heinous.

Bill R. July 8, 2023 - 1:28 pm

wow… can’t believe she’s actually getting out. those murders were horrible, can’t just forget that

old_school_dude July 8, 2023 - 2:16 pm

Manson was a real piece of work, got these young kids to do his dirty work for him. 53 years in prison though, that’s almost a life gone.


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